MELBOURNE, Fla., Feb. 12, 2010 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has demonstrated airborne information management capabilities supporting tactical operations under an Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) contract.  The company demonstrated its Advanced Information Management System (AIMS) last fall during the Bold Quest exercise headquarters at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Two Air National Guard F-16 fighter jets fitted with AIMS-equipped LITENING pods were able to share information with the exercise headquarters.

The goal of the AFRL project is to integrate and demonstrate an advanced airborne capability merging AFRL's Joint Battlespace Infosphere's information brokering capabilities into Northrop Grumman's high speed recording and tactical dissemination capabilities and transition it to U.S. Department of Defense programs. The result is AIMS, providing the tactical warfighter with critical information on demand, through tactical radio communications or existing enterprise networks.

"Key to the effective coordination between air and coalition ground entities is the real-time management of information in a rapidly changing battlespace," said Richard Wassmuth, Northrop Grumman AIMS program manager. "Immediate access to relevant information in a usable and understandable form reduces the fog of war and allows collaboration between shooters and ground forces to achieve their objectives while minimizing fratricide."

During the Bold Quest exercise, the LITENING pod hosted AIMS and allowed Air Force battle managers to discover, receive and exploit images from the F-16 aircraft to better coordinate targeting with the fighter pilots, and provide unprecedented situational awareness of the battlefield to ground forces, mission planners and operators at the tactical headquarters.

AIMS was hosted on a single board computer integrated with the LITENING pod. It recorded and disseminated the pod's real-time video, imagery, blue force tracking, and sensor points of interest to support Joint Tactical Air Controllers' (JTACs') air strike operations and provided them with instant access to the entire mission record in an organized way. "These technologies were key enablers for providing real-time operational situational awareness, evaluation of exercise effectiveness, and facilitating post mission technical analysis," said Wassmuth.

The data collected by AIMS aboard the F-16 was also transmitted via tactical radios to the Moving Intelligence (MOVINT) Client at the USAF headquarters at Camp Lejeune.

"The MOVINT Client is developed jointly by Northrop Grumman and AFRL to provide an integrated, temporal view of the battlespace, and aggregates air and ground force locations, moving target intelligence, aircraft video, sensor points of interest and target locations," said Philip Ceccio, Northrop Grumman lead systems engineer for AIMS. "It allows operators and planners to jog backward and forward, much like a digital video recorder, to review current operations and perform post mission forensic analysis."

"AIMS brings lightweight tactical information management services to LITENING pods," continued Ceccio. "These capabilities fortify Close Air Support (CAS) missions by increasing Special Forces and CAS interoperability. The MOVINT Client provides exceptional situational awareness to the headquarters. These capabilities are being further enhanced for demonstration during the Joint Expeditionary Forces Experiment (JEFX) in April at Nellis AFB, Nev."

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

  CONTACT:  Jim Stratford
          Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems
          (321) 726-7526